I can’t believe that in just a few short days, our sweet little Spencer Bruce is going to be a month old. That’s madness, guys. It feels like just yesterday that he was kicking and squirming in belly, wracked with hiccups all the time. Now he’s out and about, kicking and squirming…and still wracked by hiccups all the time. He’s been such a good baby. I’m sure every parent says that, but truly, he really is a wonderful little man. He’s got a lovely temperament, and he really just wants contact – and to be held – whenever possible. Spencer is great in his car seat, loves his Rock ‘n Play and absolutely must wear mittens all the time. ( His nails are lethal.)
I’m by no means an expert on motherhood at all, and I’ll be the first to say that motherhood is extremely challenging, but I have learned a few things in the first four weeks of this little man’s life. Mostly for posterity and my own future reference, I feel like sharing these things is necessary.
– It is so, so important to take care of myself as much as I do this sweet little man. It’s so easy to forget to eat, forget to drink enough water and focus solely on him. It’s the little things like a hot shower, plenty of water and a cup of coffee that keep things level and sane though. They’re a must.
– The Rock ‘n Play is the single most fantastic investment we have made for this baby. He loves it, and the gentle vibrating hum puts him to sleep almost immediately. (As an aside, he also loves white noise and the sound of a running bath.)
– Spencer has what we like to call his “naked and afraid” syndrome. He gets terrified when entirely undressed, but he’s mostly great in his bath, and if you wrap him in a towel, he’s perfectly content.
– Babies will poop in towels. We learned this the hard way. Blowouts after bathing do require a second bath, my friends.
– Diaper rash is normal, but it’s easily remedied. We use Aveeno Baby Soothing Relief Diaper Rash Cream. It’s the natural equivalent of Desitin, but much more gentle on Spencer’s little tush. Also, we’ve learned to blot instead of wipe with the baby wipes, as that’s stopped a lot of the rashes.
– Spencer eats what I eat. We learned this very quickly after a day of delicious but spicy foods. He is prone to gassy episodes, so we’re learning to keep foods a little bit easier and more mild on his belly.
– Breastfeeding is incredibly challenging. It’s also immensely rewarding. It takes time for your body to regulate your milk supply and adapt to your baby’s demands and schedule. There were many days of engorgement and lots of fear that I wouldn’t produce enough. Your body will adapt. Give it time. When in doubt, do call the hotlines. La Leche League is so helpful and important.
There is so much that we’re learning about parenting and that I, personally, am learning about motherhood as we go. Spencer changes every single day, and it’s both amazing and terrifying. I do also want to say that having a touch of postpartum depression is normal. It’s also okay. My husband is incredible and helps me every single day. Ladies – never be afraid to ask for help. I love my son and husband more than anything in the world, but that doesn’t change the fact that your body is going through insane changes, and you may need a little more help than you expect. It’s not a bad thing.
I’m going to have a really awesome post for you guys tomorrow, too. A couple of months ago, Ameda reached out to me to try out their breast pump, and it’s been incredible. I can’t wait to share with you guys just how helpful this product has been throughout these first few weeks with Spencer. Love to all of you and your sweet families and a happy new year!